Flickr photo by atomicpuppy68Howdy, folks. It's time for another Ask Dad, where the questions are pouring in and the questionable advice is pouring out. Hey, I try, but nobody's perfect.
This week's probing query:
My husband insists that he's still attracted to my body even though I hate it (gained weight from illness and stress). He tells me he feels the same way and asks why am I attracted to him when he isn't in the best of shape. We figure that it goes beyond physical, that it's the emotional part that weighs (no pun intended) the most. Hmmm, Okay I guess but are men truly that deep?
Some of us are, yes.
I blog over at Guyspeak.com and get this question in various forms all the time: Is he turned off by my stretch marks? Does my belly make him gag? How can he still want me when I look like this?
The simple answer: He loves you and doesn't care about your flab or weight or stretch marks or loose skin or nipple hairs. (Although I'm sure he wouldn't mind if you plucked those nipple hairs, since it's not that hard to do. Here, take these tweezers.)
He doesn't care because your body isn't why he's in love with you. He loves you because you're smart and kind and funny and selfless. He loves you because you're a wonderful mother to his children and a loving, thoughtful wife to him. He loves you because he knows who you are, where you've been, what you value, and what you want from life.
How can a few extra pounds or stretch marks trump those things? It can't. You and your husband are absolutely right.
We all change over the years, and our love changes, too. Looks matter much more at the beginning of a relationship than they do after you've been together long enough to discover each other's inner beauty. Immature love based on physical attraction slowly morphs into a deeper, more lasting love based on who we really are, not how we appear. And thank goodness for that, else I'd still be single. A lot of us would.
I'm not saying older people can't be attractive; of course they can. But aging is aging, and I think most of us still wish we looked the way we looked at 25. That includes men, who, like your husband, gain weight and lose hair and age just like women, so how can we possibly expect you to be perfect when we aren't?
If your husband says he loves your body the way it is, believe him. Women are so much harder on the way they look than men are. We don't notice half the things you worry about, and the things we do notice just don't matter that much to us.
Our love for you is bigger than that.
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